Routledge Handbook ETOs

Nowhere countries: When states use extra-territoriality at home to circumvent legal, human and refugee rights

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The opening statement of the Maastricht Principles laments the fact that, ‘despite the universality of human rights, many States still interpret their human rights obligations as being applicable only within their own borders’. Concurring with the Maastricht Principles’ observation, this chapter discusses how two States have redrawn their borders in order to escape or lessen their legal, human and refugee rights obligations. This chapter is concerned with the protection that States owe to individuals located within their geographical boundaries, on pieces of land declared extra-territorial. The term ‘nowhere countries’ aptly describes these spaces deemed extra-territorial for non-citizens categorized as undesirable. Nowhere countries can be established and thrive on any part of a State territory, but international zones at airports and islands have been spaces of choice for these zones of exclusion.

by Pauline Maillet, in The Routledge Handbook on Extraterritorial Human Rights Obligations.

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